Many holidaymakers affected by travel firm Monarch going into administration have been told they should get a refund.
Around 110,000 customers currently overseas will be flown home but around 860,000 future holiday bookings have been cancelled.
The news came as the first of the repatriation flights landed at Leeds Bradford Airport with Monarch passengers jetting home on planes run by the Italian-based budget airline company Blue Panorama.
On the Examiner’s social media pages customers affected say they are getting no response from the firm.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has taken lead for customers affected with a dedicated website: monarch.caa.co.uk
Sarah Gash wrote: “Supposed to be flying with them next Wednesday, they won’t take my call as not flying in the next 7 days but to be fair they have people stranded so they will need to be sorted first.”
Chris Joy wrote: “We’re booked with them for next May so we are trying to sort new flights out to Turkey but the main thing is the staff at Monarch losing their jobs, Good Luck to them.”
Here’s a guide to what affected customers can do:
Who is affected?
Monarch has confirmed that the following companies have ceased trading and now entered administration:
Monarch Airlines Ltd
Monarch Holidays Ltd (ATOL Number 2275)
First Aviation Ltd (ATOL Number 4888) previously trading as Monarch Airlines
Avro Ltd (ATOL Number 1939)
If you booked a flight or holiday with any of the above you will be affected.
What can customers already abroad on Monarch holidays or flights do?
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has taken charge of the situation and they say some 110,000 customers overseas are being flown home in what the Government is calling the UK’s biggest peacetime repatriation.
If you are currently abroad and due to return to the UK on or before October 15 you will be returned home on a new flight at the end of your holiday.
Passengers will be flown home at no extra cost.
Customers are being given 48 hours notice of the return flight time, which may be a different time from the original Monarch return flight.
Vulnerable passengers, including unaccompanied minors and family groups, will be given priority to travel on the same flights.
Visit monarch.caa.co.uk/customers/i-am-currently-abroad/ for full details.
If you are due to return after October 15 2017, the CAA is working on a flight timetable. Keep an eye out on the website above as new information will be added.
What has happened to future bookings?
All future holidays and flights booked with Monarch are cancelled as of October 2.
If you are booked on a Monarch Airlines flight do not go to your UK airport as your flight will not be operating and there will not be a replacement.
Those who have not yet departed will receive a full refund if their booking was protected by the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL).
The CAA are making arrangements for refunds to be made on ATOL-protected bookings, but it could take time.
They say they aim to complete the refunds by the end of 2017.
Customers are advised to wait for full details on how to make a claim.
If you have a flight-only booking you are not guaranteed a refund. This is because Monarch withdrew from flight-only protection last year. You will have to check if your travel insurance or credit card deal will cover the cost.
What if I am currently abroad, having booked a flight only?
You will be covered by the CAA rescue scheme, provided your return flight to the UK is on or before 15 October.
What if I am due to return home after October 16?
If you were on a Monarch package holiday your booking is Atol-protected and therefore you will be flown home free of charge.
If you had booked a flight only you are not entitled to that so you will have to make your own arrangements to fly home.
You will then need to try and reclaim your money via your travel insurance or credit card.
Under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, anyone who booked flights costing more than £100 will get their money back automatically from their credit card provider.